British Indian Peter Singh is among 22 community heroes honoured with purple plaques – one for each census that has taken place in England and Wales to date – to mark Census 2021.
Ordinary people are being celebrated for the extraordinary contributions they have made, and to highlight how census findings help to build better communities. From volunteering during the pandemic, to supporting those with mental health issues, the winners have made an amazing difference during a difficult time.
Singh has been honoured for services to his local community in Doncaster through volunteering and fundraising.
His citation reads: “Peter has gone beyond his usual charitable volunteering work by ensuring that throughout the pandemic his community centre users and residents, who were shielding, had access to tablets and telephones to ensure they had internet access to combat isolation, and keep in touch with family and friends.
“He also coordinated the delivery of fresh food, and hygiene and household products for the elderly and those shielding, and families on low incomes.”
The entries were judged by a panel of noteworthy community champions, led by actress and presenter Joanna Page.
“I am honoured to have been a judge on the Census 2021 community hero awards panel. It was such a pleasure to read through all the amazing entries. In what has been a difficult year for so many of us, this was a great opportunity to say thank you to the people who go above and beyond to serve their local community,” she said.
Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Officer for National Statistics (ONS), said: “It has been incredible to see the reaction from local communities for this award which resulted in hundreds of entries across England and Wales.
“This is testament to just how many incredible people are doing amazing things and how, during this difficult year, we have seen the best come out in people. We can all do something, however big or small, to help those around us.”
The census took place on Sunday, March 21, and is aimed at shedding light on the needs of different groups and communities, and the inequalities people are experiencing, ensuring the big decisions facing the country following the pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible.
Census 2021 will inform decisions nationally and locally on vital services and issues. Ultimately it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GPs and dentists’ services – all based on the information people provide.
While the deadline for the census has now passed, anyone yet to complete this legal requirement is encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Over the course of the next few weeks, Census 2021 field officers will be on duty to help people complete their forms.
This once-in-a-decade exercise is compulsory and non-completion comes with a fine of up to £1,000.
*Info: Census 2021 Heroes